Cochlear Limited (ASX: COH)—an Australia-based maker of implantable hearing solutions—announced it will host “the largest gathering of hearing implant recipients” at the eighth Cochlear Celebration event, taking place February 14-17, 2019 in Nashville, Tenn. More than 1,000 Cochlear™ Nucleus® Implant and Baha® System recipients and their families from the United States and Canada will come together at the four-day convention to celebrate the joys, challenges, and personal triumphs of overcoming hearing loss, while improving their hearing performance.

“Because our hearing implant recipients are united by sound, we at Cochlear are honored to provide an experience for them to come together and connect with those who have been on a similar journey,” said Rene Courtney, vice president, recipient services, Cochlear Americas. “In addition to camaraderie and celebratory activities, recipients can participate in educational sessions to learn the latest on their devices from industry experts and have hands-on opportunities to try the latest products and maximize their Cochlear technology, so they can experience the joy of hearing now and always.”

The winners of the 17th annual Graeme Clark and the 8th annual Anders Tjellström Scholarships will be formally recognized February 16 during Cochlear Celebration activities. The scholarships, named after two pioneers of the hearing implant industry, recognize Nucleus Implant and Baha System recipients in the United States and Canada who uphold the Cochlear ideals of leadership and humanity while demonstrating high academic achievement.

The five 2019 Graeme Clark Scholarship winners are:

  • Sam Bidwell (Wesleyan University) from Bloomfield, Conn
  • Alexandra Bushby (McMaster University) from Alliston, Ontario
  • Jessica Hayden (University of Maine) from Milford, Maine
  • Rachel Knobel (University of Delaware) from Columbia, Maryland
  • Derek Lee (University of California, Los Angeles) from Palo Alto, Calif

The three 2019 Anders Tjellström Scholarship winners are:

  • Amber Greenburg (Union University) from Hudson, Ill
  • Katie Soudek (Baylor University) from Kingfisher, Okla
  • Laura Smith (Texas A&M University) from Metairie, Louisiana

“At 18 months, I was diagnosed with a profound hearing loss, and my parents were told I would never hear or speak,” said Hayden, a Nucleus Implant System recipient and Graeme Clark Scholarship winner. “I have worked tirelessly to overcome the daily obstacles and limitations associated with my deafness. At an early age, I received bilateral cochlear implants, I learned to hear and speak, and I refused to let myself, or anyone else, lower the expectations and aspirations I set for myself. I will graduate third in my class this spring, and I will begin work to obtain a double major in microbiology and molecular and cellular biology this fall. Thanks to Professor Clark, Cochlear’s technology and through my own determination, I have attained achievements many said were not attainable.”

Also at Celebration, Cochlear will launch “Bring Back the Beat,” a new learning app designed to help adults with Cochlear Nucleus Implants to reconnect with the joy of music. Music can play an integral role in people’s lives; however, some implant recipients report listening to music again after hearing loss can be a challenge.

Because research shows that focused attention and listening practice actually improves appreciation of music, Cochlear created Bring Back the Beat to support recipients on this journey.1 According to the company’s announcement, the interactive app uses games to bring to life five different worlds of music, starting with simple notes and instruments and building to more complex melodies and musical activities.

The app allows users to explore a variety of instruments, notes, and pitches. Players can even create and stage their own concert within the app, and they can link their Spotify account within the app to keep track of the music they have listened to and enjoyed. On February 14, 2019, the Bring Back the Beat app will be available to download from the App Store® or on Google PlayTM.

About the scholarships
The Graeme Clark Scholarship is named after Professor Graeme Clark, the inventor and pioneer of the multichannel cochlear implant. The Anders Tjellström Scholarship is named after Anders Tjellström, the research physician in the department of otolaryngology at the Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Sweden who collaborated with Per-Ingvar Brånemark, a pioneer in his field, to treat the first patient with a Baha device.

Each of the students will receive $2,000 per year for up to four years at an accredited college or university, providing $8,000 to each student and $64,000 in total scholarship funds given by Cochlear Americas for this year’s winners. Since 2002, Cochlear Americas has awarded $696,000 to 96 college students.

An esteemed panel of judges that includes hearing healthcare professionals reviewed the 123 applications received this year. For more information about the scholarships, visit:

1. Looi V, Gfeller K, Driscoll VD. Music appreciation and training for cochlear implant recipients: A review. Semin Hear. 2012;33(04):307–334.

Spotify is a trademark of Spotify AB.

App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc., registered in the US and other countries.

Google Play is a trademark of Google LLC.

Source: Cochlear Limited, Seminars in Hearing

Image: Cochlear Limited